If you played sports growing up like I did you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It's the one guy or the one team that no matter how much better you were or what you did, they always had your number. Losing is part of life and it's probably the greatest lesson learned in sports, how to handle defeat. You learn to pick yourself up and move on without panic and you know that to succeed you'll have to learn from your mistakes and make the changes to ensure it doesn't happen again.
In college football the nemesis is all too prominent. It's the Iowa to Penn St. It's the South Carolina to Georgia....and this week it was Arkansas to Auburn.
Over the past 10 years Arkansas has been the underdog to Auburn all ten years. The record....5-5.
When the season starts there are two things Auburn fans can count on as "fact". One that Auburn never plays well early on Saturday. Personally I think they like watching Gameday and missing it is like leaving home Monday morning and forgetting your cell phone. It just sets the day off badly. The second "fact" is that Woo Piglets will bring it together, even if for only week out of the entire season to be Auburn's stumbling block.
I don't say all this to bash Arkansas, let me clear the air on that. Fayetteville is one of the most beautiful cities I've had the pleasure of visiting. I must admit, I wasn't expecting that. It reminded me of Athens, GA but with newer buildings. I also had some incredible BBQ while there for my short visit. But my point is that Arkansas has not been a consistent top 10 or top 20 team year in and year out that Auburn has been over the past ten years...save 2008. Yet every year no game on the Auburn schedule worries me more than when the Woo Piggies come calling.
So what is it with the nemesis that gets to these teams so regularly? I'm not Freudian enough to give you an answer but it's a question that I think I'll ponder for the rest of my years.